How close can I dig to utility lines and place concrete posts?

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Hello all,
After an outgrageous quote from a fence builder in the area, I've decided to stick to my initial plan on building my own fence.
I'm in Northern Virginia and had my lines (power, cable, phone, etc.) marked after a request to Miss Utility. Looking at where they marked the lines however, they come uncomfortabley close to my intended path for my fence posts.
My question is how close can I set posts (with concrete) to these lines? Right now, with the ten inch hole I am planning, the lines are about 2 inches from where I plan on setting the posts.
Thanks, Chris
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Absent a regulation to the contrary or cutting the lines, I can't see why you can't concrete the the utility lines themselves.
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Hmm. How deep are the lines usually buried?
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On Mar 13, 5:53�pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

the trouble is the line marking wouldnt be accurate within inches.
carefully dig some test holes and you will understand better. Heck verizon took out their own 20,000 pair main cable .........
be verry careful
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wrote:

Check your deed or plot plan, or call the utility. If it is a recorded easement (like if it also serves the neighbors), the overbuilding restrictions will be spelled out. If it is just the service to your house, well, if it craps out and needs to be replaced, they won't be gentle with whatever is in the way. If these are the buried lines out front, or along the centerline of the block, odds are there is a recorded easement. If the marked location is slightly off (and they often are), you may not HAVE that 2 inches of clearance. Even if the marks are dead on, that Ditch Witch they use needs more than 2" clearance. You cut that fiber/copper/gas line/etc, they will be coming after you for the repair costs. I'd either move the fence, or reengineer it to be easily removable from the track the utilities follow. You only really need concrete for corners and gate posts anyway- a hand-dug hole and gravel is usually adequate for the running sections.
aem sends...
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You can dig as close to the lines as the utility tells you, verbally, when they come to your property FOR FREE, which they will, if you call them.
Easy, isn't it? Pick up the phone.
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Unless the utility companies have a particular regulation regarding distance, it's more a matter of: do you feel lucky. Often those marks are not particularly accurate, and if you cut or nick any of those lines, maybe unknowingly, they will ultimately degrade over a period of time

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Around here, utility companies have a right-of-way. My neighbor had his natural fence of arbs, tore up by Edison. Apparently they billed him for planting in their path. The outcome is not yet known.
If your area is like mine, I certainly would check out how many feet to stay clear of any and all right-of-ways.
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On Mar 13, 3:37 pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

About 6 months ago, a friend had plumbers replacing his sewer line from the house to the street. The backhoe operator doing the digging was feeling lucky, started digging fairly close to the marked underground power line. He ended up doing some impromptu welding on the backhoe bucket, and knocking out the power to the neighborhood.
I'd be REAL careful.
Jerry
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How close do they guarantee their markings? Here if you hit a line and it is within two feet of the marks you are liable for the repair and any damage.
Bill
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2" is WAY too close. Rework your fence to give several feet or more of clearance. Some plumbers redoing a sewermain in our neighborhood tore out the electrical service line to the neighbor's house.
The POCO ultimately had to pay for it because they did not mark the line.

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On 13 Mar 2007 15:37:50 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

How many posts are we talking about?
Any corner posts, end posts or gate posts? If none of those, I myself would just not use any concrete on the ones next to the wires. How many inches will that give you?
See if you can rent an auger that is the exact same size as the posts.
What kind of posts? Wood, metal, foam rubber?

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for a fence post ,if you keep the concrete lets say 1-1/2" or better away you are safe BUT MAKE SURE THAT YOUR UTILITIES ARE MARKED AND THAT YOU CARFULLY HAND DIG WITHIN 2' EITHER WAY OF THE MARKS. Any utility line damage is very costly. As posted earlier the utility companys will FOR FREE mark your utilities.
peace

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wrote:

That's what his mention of Miss Utility refers to. That's what they call the people who mark the existing lines.

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Yes you are right .I got caught up in later posts. But I also wanted to stress the importance of the issue. peace

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Buried utility lines are occasionally encased in poured concrete with no problem. Actually, concrete serves as excellent mechanical protection.
Generally, the "hand dig zone" is 18-inches on EITHER SIDE of the marked line. Outside of that zone, you should be able to use a machine with relative confidence. Within that zone, you should CAREFULLY dig the post hole BY HAND until you have either exposed the buried line or your hole is large enough for your needs.
If you do NOT expose the line, you should HAND DIG several inches deeper than necessary to ensure that you are not setting a post directly ON TOP of the utility. You would then fill the hole back UP to the desired depth and set your post.
Done properly and VERY carefully, you can set your posts RIGHT NEXT TO a buried line. Of course, you should observe and conform to all codes and setback requirements.
Be careful and do it right. If the locate marks fade before you are done digging, call for a refresh locate. Good luck!
--
:)
JR

Climb poles and dig holes
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On Tue, 13 Mar 2007 22:03:41 -0500, Jim Redelfs

Absolutlely. I'm sorry about my reference to a (power) auger. I had in mind either that that would make your hole small enough that it was outside the danger zone and/or that it would make the smallest possible hole that the post would need. But if a hole that small can't be dug in another way, you could dig the hole off center away from the wires, and work your way by hand closer to the wires as needed.

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As close as you please to dig. I had one post come out right smack dab on top my underground feed. I hand dug down to the line, dug on each side of it another foot, set the post on the line and filled the whole hole with concrete. (had to saw that post off at the top) <G> That was 22 years ago.
--
Steve Barker




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On Tue, 13 Mar 2007 22:58:04 -0500, "Steve Barker"

IN that case, we want to make sure that he isn't using metal posts.
There was a news story and a thread here maybe a year ago about a girl doing stretching before running in a park, who leaned over and touched one metal pole with her leg and a fence pole with her hand, and it killed her.
The metal fence post, in that case maybe a chain link fence, had been hot or the other one was, possibly for years, but this was the first time someone touched both of them. It probably wasn't hot when installed, but worked its way through some insulation.
Actually, this is something I should have mentioned already, even if the post is next to the wire and not on top of it. He did say he was using cement, but he should be very careful a conductive post won't even touch the wires where the cement is thin. Even if perhaps a tree falls on the fence or a car hits the fence and puts sideways prssure on the post.
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Imagine the following with a fence posts so close to the power line. Have a vehicle hit fence, and damage power line.:(
Check for eastments I have one, main sewer line runs between homes. I put a fence there but am responsible for removal and replacement if the sewer comany has to dig up their line.....
A neighbor didnt bother getting permit and put a concrete patio and a BIG shed 16 by 16 right over the line........
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